Friday, May 24, 2024

How To Tell If Apartment Has Mold

Search For Leaking Pipes

How to address tenant if mold found in rental home

Since mold requires moisture to be able to survive, it is important that a tenant reduces the amount of moisture that lingers in their apartment. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that there are no leaky pipes located anywhere in the home. The two most obvious locations to check for this would be the bathroom and the kitchen.

If the bathroom sink and tub do not appear to be leaking, then the tenant should check their kitchen sink as well. If they run the water and do not see any of it leaking out of the pipe at any point, then they should be all clear of leaks.

While they are down there, they should also be sure to check for any visual signs of mold near the water pipes. If any of them have leaked and caused mold to develop, the mold would not necessarily be right beside the pipe. Moisture can travel incredibly far, depending on what type of material the wall is made of. The early symptoms of mold may be located several inches or even an entire foot away from where the pipe is located.

You Feel Like You Have A Cold That Just Wont Go Away

Symptoms of a mold reaction can be as subtle as a perpetually runny nose and sneezing fits. That cold that you just cant seem to shake could actually be a sneaky sign of a mold problem.

Try to notice if your symptoms seem to worsen after spending time in a particular room or immediately after you finish doing laundry in the basement, for example.

What Causes Mold In An Apartment

Damp, cool indoor areas are the kinds of places where molds thrive. Sometimes a mold infestation is the result of a water leak. But even after the leak has been fixed, water may linger inside walls and floors, providing a moist surface where mold spores can grow. Water can also enter the home from outside through poorly fitting windows and doors or cracks in walls. A third source of dampness in apartments is condensation. Water in the air that we exhale and from showers or cooking condenses on cool surfaces like interior walls. Indoor humidity that’s regularly higher than 60 percent and temperatures of 60 F or lower also provide growing conditions for mold.

To prevent a mold infestation, use dehumidifiers or air conditioners to remove excess moisture from indoor air, run exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom, and heat your home during cold weather.


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Check Your Overall Health

Though invisible to the naked eye, mold spores floating around the air in your apartment can lead to and cause health problems. Even if you dont normally struggle with allergies, mold may be toxic to the body and can create breathing problems and skin rashes. A chronic cough that doesnt seem to go away with treatment could be a sign that the air in the home is contaminated. Skin conditions like psoriasis can also be associated with mold toxicity caused by water damage, and those whose bodies are struggling with fungus exposure may find themselves continually fatigued and weak.

Asthmatics may struggle more with moldy air, though anyone could experience wheezing and breathlessness. Children and older adults are especially susceptible to these health concerns. If you or members of your family find themselves constantly dealing with allergy symptoms or respiratory conditions, you may want to have the indoor air quality checked for the presence of mold growth. If you find that these conditions seem to improve when you are away from the home, it could be that it is your environment causing the allergic response.

Liability For Toxic Mold In Texas

How to tell if your apartment has mold (and how much it ...

If you have health problems caused by mold on a Texas property you are leasing, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the landlord or property manager.

It is their responsibility to keep the property in habitable shape and to protect the tenants physical health and safety, as noted before, in Texas. As such, any problems associated with the building would be their problem to handle.

Also, if you just purchased a new home in Texas and toxic mold becomes obvious, the previous owner could be held liable for losses. If the previous owners knew about the mold problem, they were legally obligated to disclose this information to potential buyers.

Just like they were obligated to tell you about a leaky roof, they had to tell you about the black mold if they knew about it.

Read Also: How To See If There Is Mold In Your House

What You Can Do To Prevent Mold From Growing

Your first, and best, defense against mold is finding an apartment building that is well kept when youre looking at apartments for rent. If you see signs of the building breaking down, looking dingy, or can see that it clearly isnt well kept, you can bet that the landlord might not be on top of issues like a new mold infestation. A responsible landlord will make sure that appliances, pipes, tubs, and other areas that perpetually see water use are well sealed, and possibly pre-treated. There are also things that you can do to prevent the growth of mold in your current apartment. Dont leave standing water anywhere: whether its water around the kitchen sink or something that has spilled in your bedroom. Dry out any moisture you see as soon as possible.

Even if youre not totally certain that you have a mold issue, call your landlord at the first sign of the apartment mold symptoms listed above. With so many apartments for rent out there, it could be time to make your move to one that’s mold-free. If you need a little help finding your dream apartment, ApartmentSearch can help!

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When you live in an apartment, there are certain challenges you might encounter. Noisy neighbors, for example, can make home life unpleasant, while a broken elevator can make the act of accessing your living space an exercise in breathlessness and sweat. But if there’s one problem you really don’t want to grapple with in your apartment, it’s mold growth. Here, we’ll talk about what a mold problem looks like and explain what steps to take if mold shows up in your unit.

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How Do You Know If Mold Is Behind Drywall

Mold can be black, green, gray, white, or brown. Mold can even appear orange, pink or purple when it grows behind vinyl wallpaper. Another sign of visible mold is discoloration of walls, even if it has been painted over. If the water damage inside the walls persists, mold will show signs on the surface.

What To Do If You Have Mold

Residents angered with mold in apartment complex

If there is mold in your apartment, you need to notify your landlord immediately. You might also consider asking your landlord to bring in a professional mold inspector. Mold usually grows in difficult to see places, like behind walls or appliances, and the professionals will have equipment to detect it. Whatever they do to find the mold, though, it is important that you and your landlord work together to get it addressed immediately.

Also Check: How To Keep Mold Out Of Your Basement

Mold And Mildew Health Concerns

The health of both humans and pets may be affected by the presence of mold and mildew in the home. While some people may not be affected at all, others who are especially sensitive may experience symptoms such as itchy eyes, wheezing, or a runny nose. People with asthma or allergies will feel the most severe reactions to mold and mildew.

How Do I Get Rid Of Mold In My Apartment

Scrub surfaces: Clean moldy non-porous materials and wood surfaces with a wire brush and wipe clean with disposable wipes. Then use a soft brush to scrub all surfaces with a mixture of a quart of water and half a cup of bleach. When youre done, wipebut dont rinsethe surfaces so the bleach can kill the mold.

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How To Find Mold In An Apartment

Only a test can prove the presence of mold, but there are several signs that show you may have a mold problem. The most obvious is brown, black, gray or green spotting on surfaces in your home. Mold often grows in hidden places, like on the backs of cabinets or cupboards that stand against a wall, in the corners of walls, and in crawlspaces, attics and inside cupboards that contain plumbing pipes. If you suspect your apartment has a mold problem, check these and other places in your home that are in shade and allow little air movement. Other signs of mold include a wet, musty odor and water damage or water stains. Asthma, headaches and skin rashes are some symptoms that a mold infestation can cause, but mold doesn’t always cause health problems. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others.

For More Information And A Free Mold Inspection

Mold  FAQ  Metropolitan Tenants Organization

For more information and a free inspection for apartment mold, you can schedule an in-home consultation with a mold remediation professional. An experienced professional will identify all areas of mold in the apartment and provide written documentation of his or her findings. You can forward a copy of this to your landlord along with your request for him or her to arrange for mold removal.

There is no cost and no obligation to you. Dont sign anything agreeing to pay for mold remediation, though, unless you are prepared to cover the cost yourself. If you want your landlord to pay for the mold removal, just forward the information. To find qualified mold removal professionals offering free in-home consultations and inspections in your area, just follow the link.

Read Also: Is It Dangerous To Clean Black Mold

How Do I Check For Mold In My Apartment

There are several ways to do a quick check, both physically of the apartment, and of your own body, to see if you potentially have a mold problem.

The first and most common sign is if there is a smell. Like a strong, musty smell as if your apartment smells more like a swimming pool that has just been drained than a clean place to live. Smell is going to be a primary way to determine if you have mold in your apartment or not. In fact, many of the professional restoration services will trust their nose first and foremost when they walk into a new job simply because they have been around the mold so much, they know what it smells like straight away.

The next thing to look for is any discoloration on your walls or floor. You are looking for spots that either look like they currently have mold, which would show as black or brown or green spots, or it may just look like a bad water stain on the floor or wall. This is going to be the telltale sign that there had been significant water present in the past and mold could be hiding behind wherever you see the discoloration.

If there is mold behind the wall or ceiling and all they do is patch the hole, that mold is going to stay present in your apartment, continue to grow, and spread the spores airborne to other parts of your unit. Basically, just patching the weak or discolored spot isnt going to take care of the problem, you need to have them treat your apartment for mold.

How To Prevent Mold In My Air Vents

The best way to prevent mold in your air ducts or vents is to keep moisture from building up. Investing in a dehumidifier is a good way to do this. It will pull moisture from the air and keep it from condensing in your vents and ducts. In addition, annual maintenance of your duct system and a professional inspection and cleaning can help prevent mold from growing.

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What Is Considered A Reasonable Amount Of Time To Make A Repair Or Remedy A Problem

Seven days is generally considered a reasonable amount of time. However, the court can consider a different length of time to be reasonable based on:

  • The date the landlord received the notice,
  • The severity and nature of the condition, and
  • The reasonable availability of materials and labor and of utilities access.

Note: Exceptions apply to the timing to complete a repair if the damage to the rental property was an insured casualty loss. If the mold problem is a covered condition, the landlord has a reasonable amount of time after receiving the insurance proceeds to complete the repairs. Talk with a lawyer about your right to end your lease before the problem is corrected or receive a rent reduction if the property becomes totally unusable during the time your landlord is waiting for insurance proceeds to make a repair.

Why Is Mold Dangerous

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Left untreated, mold can really make you sick. Even if you don’t see mold in your apartment, spores can infiltrate your indoor air, causing breathing problems that mimic allergic reactions or bad colds — think itchy, burning eyes, a stuffy nose, and wheezing. If you have a pre-existing condition like asthma or lung disease, mold exposure could be particularly dangerous, which is why it’s so important to recognize the signs of mold growth and remedy the problem as quickly as possible.

Read Also: How To Check For Mold In The Air

Where Can I Find More Information About Renters Rights To Repairs In Texas

For detailed information on renters rights to repairs in Texas, see the following links:

Tip: The Austin Tenants Council has do-it-yourself forms for sending notices to your landlord to ask for repairs on your rental property. It also has do-it-yourself forms for ending your lease and for filing a lawsuit. Get forms here from Austin Tenants Council Self-Help Repair Packet.

Where Mold Is Found

Mold comes in various colors and shapes. The villainswith names like stachybotrys, penicillium, aspergilus, paecilomyces, and fusariumare black, white, green, or gray. Some are powdery, others shiny. Some molds look and smell disgusting others are barely seenhidden between walls, under floors and ceilings, or in less accessible spots, such as basements and attics.

Mold often grows on water-soaked materials, such as wall paneling, paint, fabric, ceiling tiles, newspapers, or cardboard boxes. Humidity sets up prime growing conditions for mold. Buildings in naturally humid climates of Texas, California, and the Southern U.S. have experienced more mold problems than residences in drier climates. But whatever the climate, mold can grow as long as moisture is present.

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Why Is Apartment Mold A Problem

Its a problem for all the reasons mold in houses is a problem.

It spreads easily, so mold on a closet wall could spread and end up damaging clothing or other items stored in the closet. Mold on the living room ceiling could spread and end up damaging your living room furniture.

Perhaps of greater concern, however, is the risk to your health. Exposure to household mold has been linked to all kinds of health problems, including allergic reactions, respiratory infections, asthma, and even bleeding in the lungs. You can read more about mold-related health problems.

Mold growth in apartments and other rental units poses some unique problems, though. Landlords may be reluctant to pay for costly mold remediation, but tenants are understandably reluctant to pay for repairs to a building they do not own and may not live in for long. Landlords may not want tenants to do the work themselves, either. Apartment leases often prohibit tenants from doing things like removing and replacing carpet, which may be necessary in order to remove mold.

If landlords fail to remove mold, tenants may want to move. If they have a lease, though, breaking the lease may have expensive consequences and make it difficult to find a new rental in the future.

How To Prevent Mold

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Whether you just got rid of the mold or you dont ever want to see it in your house you need to know the mold prevention rules. To prevent mold from appearing in your house:

  • Keep the humidity levels between 30% and 50%
  • Often check your house for leaks and signs of mold
  • Keep air moving in the home, especially in the winter to prevent condensation on windows
  • Use kitchen or bathroom fans to take out excess moisture after/during usage
  • Address any water-damage issues quickly
  • Small investments in prevention can go long waysand keep a lot of cash in your pocket!

    Read Also: What Can Get Rid Of Black Mold

    How Do I Detect Mold In An Apartment

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